January sales.

Now the excitement of Christmas and fuzzy heads of New Year’s Day have passed, most people’s thoughts turn to the January sales and the bargains to be had there. Browsing the shops, you might find the perfect shoes for you and they are a bargain at 50% off. Only trouble is they have every size except the one you want. Never mind you think, I will squeeze into a size smaller or make do with a size larger, they are a bargain after all! But how much of a bargain are they really?


Squeeze into a smaller pair and rubs and blisters quickly develop and if left untreated can go on to form corns which will require expensive Podiatric treatment. Any bunions would be squeezed which would lead to worsening in pain and maybe even an increase in deformity. On the more painful end of the spectrum, the pressure from the shoes could lead to neuromas and ingrowing nails which can only be treated by expensive surgeries.


Conversely, loose fitting shoes would undoubtedly cause blisters as the foot slops around inside the shoe which have the potential to become infected if not kept in check, which is especially dangerous for diabetics. As the foot is not properly supported, it will move round freely when it shouldn’t which could lead to a buildup in callus (hard skin) on the feet. More worrying than this, an unsupported foot could lead to pain in the ankles, knees, hips, back and neck!


But you are probably saying “it’s only a pair of shoes, how can they cause that many problems?”. Our feet are the only point of contact with the ground our body has, much like tyres on a car. If they are not properly supported and allowed to be misaligned, then this will have a knock-on effect on other parts of the body. So, before you jump in and buy that bargain pair of shoes, think and ask yourself are they THAT much of a bargain?


Always try to adhere to the Healthy Footwear Guide’s features:


  • Toe box allows normal foot function.
  • Adequate width and depth for foot function.
  • Sole encourages normal foot function.
  • Soft flexible upper and lining.
  • Stable heel of approximately 25mm.
  • In shoe climate which promotes a healthy environment within the shoe.
  • Shoe provides reasonable cosseting.
  • Shoe retains its’ fitness for purpose.
  • Shoe must offer good foot retention.
  • Availability of product advice.
  • Outsole grip meets industry standards.